Thursday July 19, 2018
Home India Dreadlocks St...

Dreadlocks Story: Uncovering the hidden connection of Hindu Sadhus and Jamaican Rastas

The only documentary made which uncovers the hidden link between Hindu sadhus and Jamaican Rastas

1
//
908
Image source: www.documentarydude.com
Republish
Reprint

By Shubhi Mangla

“Dreadlocks Story” is an 83-minute documentary which conveys the spiritual connection between Indian Sadhus and Jamaican Rastas. The Film was screened in four countries; India, Jamaica, USA and France and has gained a lot of momentum since last year. The documentary not only portrays the ethnic and rich heritage of Jamaica and but also talks about the roots of Rastafarian movement which was largely influenced by Hindu traditions. It reveals the secrets of Rastas in a unique way. The film is available in English, Hindi, French and Jamaican Patios with English, French and Spanish subtitles. Beginning right from the dreadlock’s hair style, the documentary takes its audience towards the never known history of Jamaica. The documentary also portrays the experiences of African slaves and how Indian workers were forced into servitude.

You can watch the trailer here

The film has been part of world’s biggest film festivals and cultural events. It has won many awards for Best Feature Documentary at 12 Months Film Festival in Romania, Davis International Film Festival in California, USA, IPHIAS in Jamaica and Intimalente Ethnographic Film Festival, Italy. Also winning the Platinum Documentary Feature Competition in Nevada International Film Festival, Nevada, USA.

About the Filmmaker

 Linda Ainouche- www.afrykamera.pl
Linda Ainouche- www.afrykamera.pl

The documentary is written, directed and produced by Linda Ainouche, an Anthropologist Researcher. She was born in France and has stayed in a couple of counties throughout her life. She is currently settled in New York. She came up with this documentary to provide a platform to the Rastafari movement and Indian influence on it.  Being an avid traveller she developed interest in exploring international cultural connections.

As a multi-lingual ethnographer and culture analyst, her works have been widely published in Hindi and English. Apart from Dreadlock story, she is also recognized for her works in Jainism. Linda is the founder of Look At My Productions. She has also worked with leading filmmakers and cultural consultants. She enjoys producing live events. Linda has a brilliant capability to go deep into the subject of her research and bring out the best in it.

The Dreadlocks Story

The documentary conveyed the spiritual link between the much criticized Dreadlock hairstyle and the Hindu culture. The documentary managed to touch sensitive topics like beliefs and superstitions in a much lighter way. In just a few minutes, it managed to answers various questions relating to Indian heritage in the history of Jamaican society. It gives a glimpse of the Rasta way of life and Hindu sadhus being involoved in it.

vimeo.com
vimeo.com

Filmmaker Linda Ainouche said in an interview conducted by India Empire Group, “Through it, I wanted to show people that in the face of adversity there is still hope, beauty, and the possibility of something new. By examining the diverse influences found in Rasta culture, Dreadlocks Story exhibits the strength and magnificence of a movement grounded in anti-slavery and anti-imperialist struggles. My findings also affirm the continued importance of Indian heritage in Jamaican society. We find it in various aspects, including cuisine, language, agriculture and medicine, to name just a few. The Hindu way of life, especially of Sadhus, can be seen in the practices of the Rasta way of life”.

Like India too, Jamaica was also ruled by British colonialists till 1962. Both Indians and Afro-Jamaicans were abducted and forced to work in sugar and banana plantations in Jamaica. The positive relationship of Indian slaves with their daily hardships shows that enslaved people have not only come from Africa. The African and Indian labourers were also bounded with contracts.

The pioneer of the Rastafari movement, Leonard Percival Howell was the First Rasta who believed that everyone should be divine through the anatomy of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia thus starting the Rasta movement. His early followers were mostly poor and mentally oppressed people. Howell spent two years in jail and wrote a pamphlet under an Indian pen name, Gangunguru Maharaj which noted the significance of lifestyles of Jamaican Rastas and Indian sadhus (Holy men).

Leonard Percival Howell- twitter.com
Leonard Percival Howell- twitter.com

Howell, became the first black man to own a piece of land called ‘Pinnacle’, where he formed a self-dependent community for his followers. However, the community was completely destroyed by the colonists in 1958 which resulted in huge displacement of Rastas from Jamaica.

Wearing dreadlocks, became a means of defiance against the Pinnacle community. Today, dreadlocks are not only found in Jamaica but also in the Caribbean. Although today, a few accommodations have been made for Rastafarians, their struggle against discrimination and prejudice are still rife.

Reference:

http://www.dreadlockstory.com/

Shubhi Mangla is a student of Journalism and Mass Communiaction in New Delhi. Follow her on twitter @shubhi_mangla

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Dreadlocks have been one of the most fascinating thing for me since I was a child. I’m looking forward to watch this interesting movie

Next Story

Most Terrible Water Crisis Ever In History Leaves Millions Of Indians Thirsty

6 percent of GDP is very much dependent on water.

0
A woman washes clothes as her daughter bathes in the Yamuna River on a hot day in New Delhi, India, April 24, 2017.
A woman washes clothes as her daughter bathes in the Yamuna River on a hot day in New Delhi, India, April 24, 2017. VOA

Weak infrastructure and a national shortage have made water costly all over India, but Sushila Devi paid a higher price than most. It took the deaths of her husband and son to force authorities to supply it to the slum she calls home.

“They died because of the water problem, nothing else,” said Devi, 40, as she recalled how a brawl over a water tanker carrying clean drinking water in March killed her two relatives and finally prompted the government to drill a tubewell.

“Now things are better. But earlier … the water used to be rusty, we could not even wash our hands or feet with that kind of water,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Delhi.

India is “suffering from the worst water crisis in its history”, threatening hundreds of millions of lives and jeopardising economic growth, a government think-tank report said in June.

From the northern Himalayas to the sandy, palm-fringed beaches in the south, 600 million people – nearly half India’s population – face acute water shortage, with close to 200,000 dying each year from polluted water.

Residents like Devi queue daily with pipes, jerry cans and buckets in hand for water from tankers – a common lifeline for those without a safe, reliable municipal supply – often involving elbowing, pushing and punching.

On the rare occasions water does flow from taps, it is often dirty, leading to disease, infection, disability and even death, experts say.

“The water was like poison,” said Devi, who still relies on the tanker for drinking water, outside her one-room shanty in the chronically water-stressed Wazirpur area of the capital Delhi.

“It is better now, but still it is not completely drinkable. It is alright for bathing and washing the dishes.”

Water pollution is a major challenge, the report said, with nearly 70 percent of India’s water contaminated, impacting three in four Indians and contributing to 20 percent of the country’s disease burden.

Yet only one-third of its wastewater is currently treated, meaning raw sewage flows into rivers, lakes and ponds – and eventually gets into the groundwater.

“Our surface water is contaminated, our groundwater is contaminated. See, everywhere water is being contaminated because we are not managing our solid waste properly,” said the report’s author Avinash Mishra.
Loss of livelihood

Meanwhile, unchecked extraction by farmers and wealthy residents has caused groundwater levels to plunge to record lows, says the report.

It predicts that 21 major cities, including New Delhi and India’s IT hub of Bengaluru, will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people.

The head of WaterAid India VK Madhavan said the country’s groundwater was now heavily contaminated.

“We are grappling with issues, with areas that have arsenic contamination, fluoride contamination, with salinity, with nitrates,” he said, listing chemicals that have been linked to cancer.

Arsenic and fluoride occur naturally in the groundwater, but become more concentrated as the water becomes scarcer, while nitrates come from fertilisers, pesticides and other industrial waste that has seeped into the supply.

The level of chemicals in the water was so high, he said, that bacterial contamination – the source of water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid – “is in the second order of problems”.

“Poor quality of water – that is loss of livelihood. You fall ill because you don’t have access to safe drinking water, because your water is contaminated.”

Currently, only 70 percent of India’s states treat less than half of their wastewater.
Currently, only 70 percent of India’s states treat less than half of their wastewater. pixabay

“The burden of not having access to safe drinking water, that burden is greatest on the poor and the price is paid by them.”

Frothy lakes and rivers

Crippling water problems could shave 6 percent off India’s gross domestic product, according to the report by the government think-tank, Niti Aayog.

“This 6 percent of GDP is very much dependent on water. Our industry, our food security, everything will be at stake,” said Mishra.

“It is a finite resource. It is not infinite. One day it can (become) extinct,” he said, warning that by 2030 India’s water supply will be half of the demand.

To tackle this crisis, which is predicted to get worse, the government has urged states – responsible for supplying clean water to residents – to prioritise treating waste water to bridge the supply and demand gap and to save lives.

Currently, only 70 percent of India’s states treat less than half of their wastewater.

Every year, Bengaluru and New Delhi make global headlines as their heavily polluted water bodies emit clouds of white toxic froth due to a mix of industrial effluents and domestic garbage dumped into them.

In Bengaluru – once known as the “city of lakes” and now doomed to go dry – the Bellandur Lake bursts into flames often, sending plumes of black smoke into sky.

The Yamuna river that flows through New Delhi can be seen covered under a thick, detergent-like foam on some days.

On other days, faeces, chemicals and ashes from human cremations float on top, forcing passers-by to cover their mouths and noses against the stench.

That does not stop 10-year-old Gauri, who lives in a nearby slum, from jumping in every day.

With no access to water, it is the only way to cool herself down during India’s scorching summers, when temperatures soar to 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).

“There usually is not enough water for us to take a shower, so we come here,” said Gauri, who only gave her first name, as she and her brother splashed around in the filthy river.

Also read: India’s bulging water crisis: Is it too late for us to do something?

“It makes us itchy and sick, but only for some time. We are happy to have this, everyone can use it.” (VOA)